Atlanta makes list of 50 bike-friendliest U.S. cities

For the first time, Atlanta has made Bicycle magazine’s “Best Bike Cities” list of the 50 most bike-friendly municipalities in the United States.

Atlanta ranked No. 43 on the 2016 list. The magazine issues the list every two years after reviewing Census and U.S. Department of Transportation data for more than 100 cities, consulting with bicycling experts and interviewing advocates and everyday riders, city officials said.

“Cycling has become an essential part of Atlanta’s transportation network, and we see this mode increasingly growing in popularity,” Mayor Kasim Reed said. “We will continue to invest in bicycle infrastructure for our residents and visitors to enjoy for generations to come.”

Atlanta has invested in more than 30 miles of bike lanes, including four miles of protected and buffered lanes.

It also has named Becky Katz the city’s chief bicycle officer, and launched Relay, the bike-rental program.

Relay has 10 downtown stations and 100 machines so far. It plans to install 10 additional stations in October and aims to grow to 500 bicycles by year’s end.

Chicago, San Francisco and Portland, Ore., were first, second and third, respectively, on Bicycle’s list. Atlanta’s immediate neighbors in the rankings: Columbia, Mo., at 42, and Lincoln, Neb., at 44. Both are university towns; Lincoln also is the state capital.